Healthy carbohydrates from veggies, fruits and grains (such as cereal, pasta and whole grain bread) are a great source of fuel for an active body. These foods help sustain energy and replenish the body after a good workout.
Children also need protein from foods like fish, chicken, milk, eggs and lean meats to build muscle after games and practices. It’s important to make sure they’re consuming healthy fats as well, such as the ones found in avocados and nuts.
Here are four tips to better fuel your kids so they stay healthy, active and strong:
1. Before hitting the fields, kids need the right kind of fuel that’ll keep their energy levels high. Healthy carbs such as cereal or fruit smoothies can provide the kick to get them ready for game time. Try eating two or three hours before playing and stick to an eating schedule that works best for your player.
2. During games and practices, be sure your players are staying hydrated. Water is a good source, but sports drinks also work great to keep energy levels up. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and be sure to stay away from sodas.
3. Have your players refuel after exercise with some healthy carbs and protein. Some great post game/practice treats are sandwiches, fruits, yogurt and a kid’s (and high performance athlete’s!) favorite—chocolate milk!
4. Don’t forget the fiber. Make sure your kids are getting enough fiber, but wait until after exercise to give it to them so they don’t get a stomach ache while playing. Some healthy foods that are high in fiber are fresh fruit, nutrient-rich nuts, dried fruits and peanut butter.